|For Immediate Release
Jailed for buying airline tickets, divorced father set for release
Fatherhood Coalition to rally in support
Friends and supporters from the Fatherhood Coalition, a statewide organization advocating for fathers' rights, will be on hand outside the Dedham prison at 8 a.m. for his release, anticipated for some time between 8 and 10 a.m.
Leisk was found in criminal contempt of court July 6 by Dedham Probate & Family Court Judge J. Kopelman. The charges stem from a disagreement between Leisk's ex-wife Camille Morin and their eldest daughter over a summer trip to Hawaii. Leisk had purchased airline tickets for himself and two of the couple's three daughters, and a separate ticket for an earlier departure date for their oldest daughter.
|Despite the obvious cooperation
required by the divorced parties to move from Hawaii to Massachusetts, Camille took out a
209A restraining order against Bill soon after he arrived.
In an ironic twist on an all-too-common scenario, Camille asked Bill to mind the children when she went to get her ex parte 209A restraining order against him.
In what appears to be a case of judicial incompetence, the contempt complaint should never have been heard. P & F Judge Christina Harms dismissed the same complaint earlier in June. Clearly finding Leisk not in contempt, she nonetheless neglected to note in the record that she even heard the case, let alone that she dismissed the complaint.
As a result, Leisk's ex-wife brought the complaint forward again on July 6, in front of Judge Kopelman. During the hearing Kopelman stopped Leisk from completing his defense, ordered him handcuffed, told him he had one phone call and that he was going to jail for 30 days effective immediately.
Leisk planned to be boarding a plane for Hawaii with his younger daughters July 24; instead he was given an all-expenses paid trip to the Dedham prison. His non-refundable tickets unused, he is out $2,000.
In an implicit admission that jailing Leisk was wrong, Judge Kopelman warned Camille "the children will hate you for this." But rather than administer real justice, Kopelman did what P&F Court judges usually do: Whatever the accusing ex-wife wants.
According to CPF co-chairman John Flaherty, "This is yet another example of Probate & Family Court discrimination and persecution of decent fathers by malicious mothers¾ even acknowledged by the court!
Marriage, family, divorce in Hawaii
The family formerly resided in Hawaii, and divorced there in 1996 with an agreement to share legal and physical custody of their children. Camille moved to Massachusetts with the couple's youngest daughter while the other two daughters stayed in Hawaii with their father to finish the school year. Bill then sent the two daughters to their mother in Massachusetts while he finished up work obligations and sold their house.
Despite the obvious cooperation required by the divorced parties to separately move from Hawaii to Massachusetts, Camille took out a 209A restraining order against Bill soon after he arrived in 1998. In an ironic twist on an all-too-common scenario, Camille asked Bill to mind the children when she went to get her ex parte 209A restraining order against him.
Loses custody rights due to 209A restraining order
As a result of the restraining order Leisk lost legal and physical custody and was barred from seeing his children. Unable to afford an attorney, he was coerced into signing away his custody rights in order to resume seeing his children.
Leisk was nonetheless granted 50 percent parenting time, including July 23 to August 24 this year. He planned the trip to Hawaii for he and his daughters to visit their family and friends there. The oldest daughter asked for a separate ticket to go earlier because she wished to continue a summer drama program. This was the source of the problem that led to Leisk's imprisonment.
Against her mother's wishes, the daughter went to Hawaii, has visited her maternal uncle there, and is staying with family friends.
Camille brought contempt charges against Leisk because this earlier vacation time would violate the court agreement on summer time visitation. Leisk argued that the disagreement was between the mother and the daughter, and he¾ no longer having even shared legal custody¾ should not be held responsible for his daughter's decision. But the daughter has written affidavits stating that she wants to live with her father, and this may be the real source of the mother's irritation.
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|For further information, contact:|
The Fatherhood Coalition
A non-profit, all volunteer organization of men and women advocating for fatherhood since 1994
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